Uhhh…How Do I Turn This On?

We were down in Santa Cruz this weekend for a family reunion, (deStwolinski’s unite!) and we stayed at a lovely hotel nestled away in the forest hillside. Everything about the weekend was spectacular, except for one thing that kept bugging me. One thing that over three days and two nights became, at least in moments when I was feeling a little extra dramatic, my nemesis: the bathroom water faucet.

The mystery faucet

Now, I’m a reasonably intelligent grown man; I’m fairly good at manipulating physical objects and understanding how they work; I study and practice design and usability for a living; I’ve successfully used a wide variety of water faucets; and I’m even somewhat familiar with the inner workings of faucets as I’ve repaired and installed a few. So why can’t I figure out how to turn this stupid thing on?

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Happy Child and Fully-Charged Gadgets Before Your Flight…Priceless

There’s nothing quite like a pleasant surprise. On the way home from a family reunion in California, I found a few at the San Jose International Airport. It offers free WiFi in its terminals, and about 25% of its waiting area seats have built-in electrical outlets, including a USB slot if you swing that way. Now you can stay on Facebook or finish downloading an Elmo video right up until boarding and still have a full battery in your laptop or smartphone for the flight.

On a simpler note, there was a child play table with assorted puzzles and coloring books near our gate, which kept my little daughter both occupied and happy as we waited. Given that she was about to be riding in my lap for a two hour flight, well…thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I may very well never be in this airport again, but kudos SJC for a very pleasant customer experience. I hope other airports are paying attention.